It's a little cooler. Still humid though. Damp, overcast, still. Quiet — eerily so. It's a busy day. Several zoom meetings, groceries to get, and then I need to make one more phone call this afternoon. I am very upset. I have gained back all the weight I slaved to take off three years ago. I don't like the way I look, or the way this feels. But, I am the same soul inside this puffy coat. All roads out of this “coat” lead to grief. There is sadness in giving up my favorite foods — cookies, in particular. And, hope is dashed in feeling young again — lighter, less trapped and controlled by how tight these jeans feel. Without much thought, I slip into old defaults of creating calendars with harsh diets and fantastical weight goals, followed by the predictable genuflect at the WW altar app. I pull up just in time to remember and write: One day at a time. This day at this time. It really is about one day at a time. This body. This mind, and most importantly — this soul. What does this soul want most of all? To be loved. To express. To be allowed to imagine and play as a soul alone, and a soul with others. Long after the flesh has rotted and the bones have turned to dust, this soul will carry on. Its light and energy bound to nothing and everything and everywhere without a how. I can know this when the fires of fear fade to smoke, and the smoke of yesterday’s stories clear — if but for a moment. Maybe no longer than the firefly’s short glory against the darkening sky, but long enough at least, to light one speck of space in the humid blanket hovering over the bean field.
Where are we going? I don’t know. Why do we have to leave? I don’t know. What will it be like when we get there? I can’t tell you that either because “it” is not there yet. “It” is created by walking the path. Will it be worth it? Yes, and no. Yes because you will have walked in the grief of letting go of what, or who was, instead of running away. No because traveling the path has nothing to do with worth. Can I stop and sit down here if I feel too tired? Of course. Rest is renewal but resistance is deadening. Find a friend to rest with you if you can, but it is better to be alone than lonely with the misunderstanding of another. Will you be with me even when I can’t feel or see you? Yes. Always. And always with love.
I was journaling this morning about disappointment in the scale and in myself. Then an idea came:
What if I dropped into this body, as it is today, from outer space and no time? No expectation, control, or history of disappointment or pain in hearing ‘tub of lard’ as a teen?
I’d look around it, inventory all the working parts, look under the hood and kick the tires and determine that ‘she’s got a few good years in her yet’. (I’m 67.) Relatively healthy. No major diseases and all fingers and toes and senses accounted for.
I took a sip of gratitude from the well of real, not should.
Then, I saw my sense of entitlement.
I had never seen or owned this before. I saw how all of my life I had hated what my body was and wasn’t. I was busy drinking Diet Rite Cola, then Tab, then diet Coke and binging on pizza in the dark. All the while mad and confused because I was big, not small. Somewhere believing that the ‘small’ women were the good women. The women of value.
In response to this old and familiar reflection I heard that new word coming out of this broken record song: entitlement.
And a real question:
Where did I get the idea that I was entitled to eat without restraint AND be slimmer than the average?
After the horror and embarrassment of seeing (and feeling) this honesty come forward, a measure of self compassion sneaked in as well. Then, I returned to reading from my meditation books and ultimately landing
Today I am agreeing to love my body-self as I am right now—as I have been dropped into this good healthy miracle of flesh and thinking, spirit and senses without any of my doing or merit.
This morning I am making a decision to support myself with good choices. This includes connecting here, and wishing all of us well too.
One day at a time.
It is not so large a price to pay
to see and step again
into and through
the small doorway of God’s peace.
It is the work we can only do from here
as our little selves;
mistaken mortals longing for Home.
Yesterday was not a particularly good day. I wallowed and ate and watched tv and sulked and called out to God a few times but it was like yelling into the grand canyon… all I could hear was me – me – me. Well, that plus this incessant screaming in my head! Continue reading Rain On My Parade
In the personal sense: torque is the pull of doing what is wrong against the right that I know. Tensile is the test of how long I can continue thinking and behaving, in opposite directions than loving ways, without completely breaking, and falling apart.
Two very human conditions we live within; both displaying the existence of good and the good sense in each of us. Continue reading The Torque and Tensile of Tinnitus
Oh wait, I haven’t been running since I turned 41. That look back makes this like child’s play – a few days in a year is nothing to twenty. And yet, like yesterday or twenty years ago I am again heckled to hate myself and plan my diet-cure by December 31. Continue reading Finding Normal